I could use some guidance. I’m a sophomore majoring in justice studies and planning to go to law school. This semester, I’m taking an advanced course about regulated industries considered controversial and/or hazardous to public health. Last week, students were broken into mini groups and assigned a topic to research and present.
My group was assigned gambling, which is a huge topic. None of us are old enough to gamble, so nobody has any personal experience. Googling at random generates tons of results, many of which are probably too obscure or complicated to present in only 10 to 15 minutes.
That’s why we need help. We can only realistically introduce the basics, right? What should we be focusing on for a high-level presentation?
Gambling is definitely a formidable topic to explore and expect to present succinctly. There’s only so much information your group can digest, synthesize, and reproduce accurately within a given timeframe. More importantly, you don’t want to mistakenly bore your classmates for 10 to 15 minutes no matter what you choose to present. Engagement is key. Jayson DeMers, founder of AudienceBloom, published very informative Inc. article highlighting ten tricks to keep your audience awake. That’s a great place to begin.
It’s important to remember that those suggestions aren’t universally applicable. For instance, DeMers recommends eschewing wholesale from including data and statistics. That’s not necessarily the best idea in an academic setting when your professor is likely expecting some supporting research to inform the contents. Your team might also refrain from asking for audience participation while delivering the presentation, but that’s up to you.
Beginning with a relevant anecdote is difficult without personal experience but certainly not impossible. Your team could tap into pop culture and cite a famous film (e.g. Ocean’s Eleven, 21, etc.), which makes use of gambling and the conventional casino setting to advance a compelling narrative. That’s when you can seamlessly transition into the origin story. Nonchalantly reveal that gambling was first legalized in 1931 by Nevada as a direct and desperate response to the Great Depression. It should be no surprise that the industry has skyrocketed since its regulated introduction way back when.
Your team could next disclose the states earning astonishing revenues from regulated gambling and wow the audience with how lucrative the business has become. Writer Lindsay Ingram at TheStreet published a salient article doing exactly that for the top ten states. According to her piece, Iowa generated the least money out of the ten states showcased at a measly $1.5 billion. Nevada obviously walked away with the crown after grossing $11.1 billion. And in the case of Nevada, taxes accrued from regulated gambling is fundamentally essential to the state economy.
Gambling tends to have a rather negative connotation despite its many varieties and manifestations. That’s why your team should entertain the idea giving the topic a more positive spin. One contributor at Forbes explains how the rise of online casinos might actually let states cultivate a new source of vital tax revenues otherwise unavailable to them. The audience might not have considered online casinos anything other than a possible detriment when, in fact, they offer new channels of revenue to states.
Concluding with online gambling will probably make intuitive sense since your audience is replete with digital natives. Ending with relevance should make it more memorable to them.
“You can’t have six cards in a five-card game!” — Ocean’s Eleven